Archive | International

N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

KIM TONG-HYUNG and ERIC TALMADGE

Associated Press
 
North Korea Suspends Nuclear, Long-Range Missile Tests, Will Close Testing Site

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea announced Saturday it will suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of its summits with Seoul and Washington, but stopped well short of suggesting it has any intention of giving up its nuclear weapons or scale back its production of missiles and their related component parts.

The new policy, which sets the table for further negotiations when the summits begin, was announced by leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting of the North Korean ruling party’s Central Committee on Friday and reported by the North’s state-run media early Saturday.

Kim justified the suspension to his party by saying that the situation around North Korea has been rapidly changing “in favor of the Korean revolution” since he announced last year his country had completed its nuclear forces. He said North Korea has reached the level where it no longer needs to conduct underground testing or test-launching of ICBMs.

He added that the country would close its nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri, though that site was already believed to have been rendered largely unusable due to tunnel collapses after the North’s test of what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb last year.

The announcement is seen as an opening gambit aimed at setting the tone for talks ahead of Kim’s summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next Friday and U.S. President Donald Trump in late May or early June.

Trump almost immediately responded with a tweet saying, “This is very good news for North Korea and the World” and “big progress!” He added that he’s looking forward to his upcoming summit with Kim.

South Korea’s presidential office also welcomed North Korea’s announcement as “meaningful progress” toward the denuclearization of the peninsula. Presidential official Yoon Young-chan said in a statement that the North’s decision brightens the prospects for successful talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed the announcement too but was a bit more guarded in his reaction.

“What is crucial here … is how this development is going to lead to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of nuclear arms, weapons of mass destruction and missiles,” he said. “And I will keep a close eye on that.”

Some analysts believe that rather than denuclearizing, Kim feels he is entering the negotiations from a position of strength and is hoping to achieve tacit recognition that his country is now a nuclear power. They believe he wants engage in talks and make some concessions around the edges that would convince Washington and other countries to ease sanctions on his struggling economy.

In his speech at the party meeting, Kim praised his nuclear policy as “a miraculous victory” achieved in just five years. A resolution passed after his speech also stressed that the country had successfully achieved its goals of obtaining a viable nuclear force and suggested it intends to keep that force — at least for the time being.

Using the acronym for North Korea’s official name, it said the North would “never use nuclear weapons nor transfer nuclear weapons or nuclear technology under any circumstances unless there are nuclear threat and nuclear provocation against the DPRK.”

“This was a smart move by Kim,” said Vipin Narang, an associate political science professor and nuclear proliferation expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Although it largely formalizes previous pledges on the moratoria from last November and March, it still leaves a lot of wiggle room for circumventing the pledges in the future, and nothing in there is irreversible. And nothing in there mentions denuclearization, of any variety.”

Narang noted that North Korea has already conducted as many nuclear tests as Pakistan and India, and may indeed not need to conduct any more underground testing.

“The aim of this, in my view, is to make it exceedingly difficult for Trump to say the North is uninterested in talks and walk away,” he said. “Kim is doing everything he can now — in a reversible way, mind you — to ensure the summit happens. Because that’s his ultimate victory.”

Tossing out another nugget that could be used at the summits, Kim stressed at the party meeting his desire to shift the national focus to improving the country’s economy, which has been hit hard by international sanctions and the “maximum pressure” strategy pushed by Trump.

 The announcement ends what had been an ominous silence from Pyongyang regarding the stunning diplomatic moves Kim has been making since the beginning of this year, including his first summit, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, last month.

It also gives the best idea yet of what Kim intends to bring with him in his summits with Moon and Trump.

Seoul says Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons. But North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of “denuclearization” that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its troops from the peninsula.

Some important items were also left off the North’s resolution, suggesting either that the North isn’t willing to go that far or that it wants to wait and see how much it can gain by further concessions once actual talks begin.

It did not announce a moratorium on short- or mid-range missile launches or ground-based engine testing. It also did not suspend the production of more fissile material to build additional warheads, or the production of the longer-range missiles, which are Washington’s primary concern.

At the height of Pyongyang’s standoff with Washington and Seoul last year, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters the country could conduct an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean.

That kind of test would also not be included in the suspension.

___

Talmadge, the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief, reported from Tokyo.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

douglas-harriss

Date set for hearing diplomatic passport case against former prime minister

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Apr 20, 2018, CMC – A High Court judge Friday set May 30 for the start of the case in which the St. Kitts-Nevis government is seeking to oust former prime minister Dr. Denzil Douglas from the Parliament on the grounds that he is a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Douglas has already called on the Court to dismiss the application noting that “in the affidavit that I have sworn, I have asked the court not only to dismiss the charges that have been brought by the Attorney General, but also with costs because they must pay for wasting the court’s time”.

The St Kitts-Nevis government, through the Attorney General, Vincent Byron, is seeking a declaration from the High Court that, since the election to the National Assembly on February 16, 2015, Douglas became disqualified from being elected as a member of the National Assembly and was accordingly required to vacate his seat in the National Assembly by reason of his becoming a person who, by virtue of his own act, is in accordance with the law of Dominica, under an acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state, namely, Dominica.

douglas-harriss
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris (left) and
Opposition Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas (File Photo)

Additionally, the government is also seeking a declaration that Douglas has vacated his seat in the National Assembly; an injunction restraining him from taking his seat in the National Assembly and from performing his functions as a member as well as costs, and other relief as the court may deem just and expedient.

Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris has described the matter of one of grave constitutional, political and parliamentary significance to the Commonwealth.

When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, Justice Trevor Ward ruled that submissions should be made by May 11 with the matter to be heard on May 30.

Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, who is a member of Douglas defence team, said that his client had agreed to disclose the number of times that he had travelled on the diplomatic passport “because he said in his evidence he had in fact used the passport for convenience and travel….

“We insisted that we are not going to have the document disclosed in the High Court proceedings, we are not going to have it filed with the Registrar, we are not going to have it filed in the registry for copies to be made and a political pappyshow made out of the passport,” Astaphan said, describing as “absolutely deceitful, deception and fraudulent” a media report on the events that occurred in the Courts on Friday.

He told reporters that he had agreed with Trinidadian-based Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes  “that we would disclose in writing the number of times Dr. Douglas travelled , dates and so on and that after that is done we will submit the diplomatic passport to the judge for the judge to verify that the information that we are volunteering is accurate.

“Our initial position was that the Court had no jurisdiction to compel us to disclose anything and that is why the order before the judge was by consent ….and not mandatory or any order by the court imposed on us, ”he added.

Astaphan said that the media report “gives further support to us on Dr. Douglas side that this is all a piece of political manoeuvring to try score political points perhaps where things are not going the way the Honourable Prime Minister and his government would wish to go”.

Douglas has already indicated that the outcome of the Court matter will enable the main opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) “to settle down and pursue a spirited election campaign to remove the dictatorship from this land led by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris”.

Posted in International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Darcy Boyce

COTED meeting agrees on CCREE full operationalisation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Apr 20, CMC – The Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Energy has ended here with an agreement that work has advanced towards the full operationalisation of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) by the middle of this year.

Minister of State in the Office of the Barbados Prime Minister, Darcy Boyce, who chaired the one-day meeting on Thursday, said “we can then move forward with appointment of the executive board and staffing of the Centre”.

Darcy Boyce
Darcy Boyce

Montserrat became the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to have deposited its instruments of ratification of the agreement establishing the CCREEE.

Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica and Belize are the other CARICOM countries that have deposited their instruments of ratification.

The Centre is intended to function as the implementation hub for the CARICOM Energy Policy, as well as the Caribbean Sustainable Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS). I

n 2015, CARICOM leaders approved the establishment of the CCREEE and identified Barbados as the host country for its Secretariat. The COTED agreed to interim operations of the Centre in January, 2016 and on Thursday, the meeting agreed on decisions related to the transition from that interim stage to the first operational phase.

When fully operational, the Centre is expected to improve the quantity and quality of programmes and projects in sustainable energy within the region.

“We had a very useful meeting, and I expect that we would have put ourselves in a position to achieve a lot more in the energy sector, in renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next few years,’ Boyce said, adding that “good progress” had also been made on the matter of labelling of energy efficient equipment within the region.

He said this step would ensure that people knew “exactly what they were getting” when they bought equipment and sought to encourage them to acquire more efficient equipment and appliances for their properties.

The meeting also approved a pilot programme which will get underway shortly to promote energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings. Substantial discussions were held on integrating climate resilience into the C-CERMS against the background of the region’s vulnerability to intense climate-related events.

The one-day meeting also discussed insurance and electricity disruption.

“We felt that we needed to discuss ways in which we could get the work done to guide us… to become more resistant to those situations, and to help us to recover faster” when there are natural disasters,” Boyce said.

He said the ministers also took stock of the availability of technical assistance under the CARIFORUM Regional Programme for Energy under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) to get the resources that were necessary for studies and to implement projects to grow the energy sector.

The ministers also had “robust” discussions on oil and gas in the Region. A working group is to be established to consider how there could be deeper cooperation and more advice available on the technical matters on that sector.

Boyce had at the start of the meeting made reference to the region’s oil and gas sector, and its potential to benefit the populace.

“While we are all determined to make sure that we benefit as best as we can from renewable energy and energy efficiency, we all also have to bear in mind that if we are the owners of resources, we ought not to let those resources stand there idly, but we should use them for the benefit of our countries and for the Region.

“So I am very glad that we are not shying away from the matter of oil and gas. It is a matter of balancing … oil and gas, with the natural resource of sunlight, and wind, and water. And this is what it is all about: optimising, getting the best mix of those resources to give our people and our economies what they need”, he said.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Education, Energy, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology, Technology0 Comments

marijuuu

Former health minister renews call for decriminalising marijuana

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Apr 20, CMC – Former health minister Dr. Fuad khan Friday renewed his call for the decriminalisation of marijuana for medical purposes.

“Trinidad and Tobago needs to join the march towards decriminalization of marijuana, particularly for medical use” Dr. Khan, an opposition legislator, said in a statement in which he noted that as of this year several countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, India, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, and some U.S. jurisdictions, had done so.

marijuuuThe global community is Friday observing International Day of Cannabis, commonly referred to as “420’ and Dr. Khan said “on the occasion of 420, I once again renew my call for the decriminalization of the use of marijuana”.

The opposition legislator, a medical practitioner, said that in his contribution to the budget debate last year “ I pointed out the many benefits to the economy by legalizing marijuana, its medical uses and the need to desist from criminalizing young men in particular for using small amounts.
“ I went to great lengths to show the benefits but the current government has constantly ignored all calls for changes to the law. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley when asked about the legalization of marijuana in 2015 said that while the issue might be “fashionable” at the moment, it isn’t a priority for his government.”

Dr. Khan said that the government’s “continuing failure to broach matters of national importance has become a serious drawback when it comes to our society evolving based on science, pragmatism and common sense.”.

He said Trinidad and Tobago has some of the highest rates of cancer, hypertension and diabetes in the region and if marijuana licences are granted, the country can begin to benefit from the positive medical benefits.
“Patients with epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome and other conditions will be able to have access to legal marijuana, not having the added burden of trying to evade law enforcement,” Khan said, noting that while the debate continues on the efficacy of medical marijuana, several major research have been undertaken to understand the positive effects of the marijuana.

He quoted the findings of several research studies on the issue insisting that Trinidad and Tobago must move swiftly to separate marijuana from the very real and dangerous illegal drug trade and allow the people who use it as medicine to do so without being incarcerated.

“Marijuana smokers are not second class citizens. Adults have the legal right to consume alcohol, tobacco and other legal drugs but are criminalized if they choose marijuana, a natural herb. That is neither reasonable nor fair,” Dr. Khan added.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Michael-Peyrefitte

Belize Attorney General has advice for United States on drug problems

BELMOPAN, Belize, Apr 20, CMC –Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte has a few words of advice for the United States, particularly as it relates to dealing with its drug problem.

“I have …said that the US also needs to work on their demand, maybe if they will stop using so much drugs, we wouldn’t be selling any, according to them,” Peyrefitte told television viewers here on Thursday night after acknowledging that he had now fully read the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the US State Department late last month.

Michael-Peyrefitte
Michael Peyrefitte

In the report, Washington named four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries as major illicit drug-producing countries. It noted that the Bahamas, Belize, Haiti and Jamaica were also major drug-transit countries.

According to Washington, a major illicit drug-producing country is one in which 1,000 hectares or more of illicit opium poppy is cultivated or harvested during a year; 1,000 hectares or more of illicit coca is cultivated or harvested during a year; or 5,000 hectares or more of illicit cannabis is cultivated or harvested during a year.

But Peyrefitte said that the United States has ‘not presented to us any evidence why is it they believe that.

“It’s based on what? Based on what they are saying we are a major transshipment point of drugs? We don’t have any information from them as to what is the foundation of that analysis. They don’t share any information with us.

‘If they know, if the US knows who is bringing drugs into Belize, then let us know and we will arrest those people because drugs are illegal. So, what information do they have that they are not telling us about? We don’t know.

“But like I said, that is their opinion. It is a black eye, yes, because they are an elephant and we are a flea in world politics and geo-politics. But at the same time I think it is very unfair and very cowardly that you would pass a judgment like that on Belize without any evidence to show on what based that opinion on,” the Attorney General said.

He said that the Dean Barrow government has daily contact with Washington but that “they tend to want information but don’t give information.

“As long as we are not treated equally or operate on an equal footing, then what can we do? All we can do is to try and fight crime the best that we can.
“If there is an illegal activity, we go to stomp it out and we bring the people to court, they have their day in court and the justice systems decides. But until then, I do not accept any other country’s assessment on my country without at least trying to do some good with that assessment,” Peyrefitte added.

Several other Caribbean countries have also disputed the US report.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd ‘sorry’ for appalling treatment of Windrush-era citizens

TMR: PM May will redeem trust and decency…

The Guaradian
Minister criticises Home Office and promises cases will be resolved in two weeks

Windrush-era citizens row: timeline of key events

Amber Rudd
Amber Rudd said action would be taken to rectify the situation for anyone who had been wrongly deported. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

The British home secretary has delivered an unprecedented apology for the “appalling” actions of her own department towards Windrush-era citizens, acknowledging that the Home Office had “lost sight of individuals” and become “too concerned with policy”.

In the face of mounting criticism, Amber Rudd announced the creation of a new Home Office team, staffed by 20 officials, dedicated to ensuring that Commonwealth-born long-term UK residents will no longer find themselves classified as illegal immigrants. She promised that cases would be resolved within two weeks and application fees would be waived.

Q&A

What is the Windrush deportation crisis?

She made a significant criticism of her own department, adding: “I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy and sometimes loses sight of the individual. This is about individuals, and we have heard the individual stories, some of which have been terrible to hear.”

She said she was very sorry for the anxiety suffered by numerous people who arrived in the UK as children after newly tightened immigration laws required them to prove that they were here legally.

 2:55
My £54,000 cancer bill: ‘It’s like I’ve been left to die’ – video

The Guardian has been documenting a growing scandal over the past five months affecting an unknown number of people who arrived in the UK as children from the Caribbean as children (often on parents’ or siblings’ passports) but were never formally naturalised or hadn’t applied for a British passport.

A colleague of Rudd’s, immigration minister Caroline Nokes, earlier appeared to suggest that people had been deported in error back to countries they left as children for not having the right documents. Rudd said she was unable to confirm if this was the case, and had asked Caribbean diplomats if they were aware of mistaken deportations.

Rudd’s announcement came after the prime minister was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over Downing Street’s refusal to schedule a meeting requested by 12 Caribbean heads of government to discuss the problem at a meeting of the Commonwealth heads of government (Chogm), which opened in London on Monday.

The rebuffal was described as “most unfortunate” by the Barbados high commissioner, just before the meeting began. Within hours, Theresa May’s spokesman announced that she had agreed to set up a meeting after all. He added that the prime minister “deeply values” the contribution the Windrush generation have made, but the outrage over the initial refusal overshadowed the opening of the conference.

The decision to back down on the refusal to schedule a Chogm meeting on the issue followed rising anger from politicians of all parties. Over 140 MPs from all parties sent a letter to May, expressing concern about the incorrect classification of many Commonwealth-born, long-term British as “illegal immigrants” and calling on her to find a “swift resolution of this growing crisis”.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid said he was “deeply concerned” about the Windrush scandal, adding ”this should not happen to people who have been longstanding pillars of our community.”

Rudd’s announcement came in response to an urgent question called by Labour’s David Lammy who said it was “inhumane and cruel” for so many in the Windrush generation “to have suffered so long in this condition”.

 
1:55
‘National day of shame’: David Lammy criticises treatment of Windrush generation – video

“This is a day of national shame and it has come about because of a hostile environment policy that was begun under her prime minister. Let us call it as it is. If you lay down with dogs, you get fleas, and that is what has happened with this far-right rhetoric in this country,” he said.

“Can she [Rudd] tell the house how many have been detained as prisoners in their own country? Can she tell us how many have been denied healthcare under the National Health Service, how many have been denied pensions and how many have lost their jobs?” he asked.

She also called on the government to apologise to those people wrongfully detained. Neither Paulette Wilson, 61 nor Anthony Bryan, 60, who were both told they were illegal immigrants and detained in immigration removal centres – despite each having lived and worked in this country for over half a century – have had any apology from the Home Office for their treatment.

Until now individuals have struggled to provide the evidence required by the Home Office to resolve their status problems – often unable to submit the recommended four pieces of documentary evidence for every year spent in the UK, not least because relatives have died, schools have shut down and records have been destroyed.

Decades of national insurance records have not been deemed sufficient proof, but Rudd said that would change, and Home Office staff would attempt to work with other departments to source paperwork.

“The team will be tasked with helping these applicants demonstrate they are entitled to live in the UK and will be tasked with resolving cases within two weeks of the evidence being provided. They will work across government to help these applicants prove they have been working and living in the UK,” she said.

Satbir Singh, the CEO of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, welcomed the new team. “But that on its own is not enough: the Home Office must commit to a system which treats affected people with fairness, humanity and flexibility,” he added.

“In the past few days we’ve witnessed the culmination of years of government policy explicitly designed to turn us into a hostile society and which have made the Home Office into an island of inhumanity and incompetence. This is the first time that the government has been forced to account for these deliberate decisions. We hope it marks the start of a conversation about how we treat all those who seek to make a life here.”

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Featured, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Former FBI Director James Comey gave a searing interview about his encounters with President Donald Trump to ABC News on Sunday

In Searing Interview, James Comey Unleashes Against ‘Morally Unfit’ Trump

Nick Visser
HuffPost
 
Former FBI Director James Comey gave a searing interview about his encounters with President Donald Trump to ABC News on Sunday
 
Former FBI Director James Comey gave a searing interview about his encounters with President Donald Trump to ABC News on Sunday

Former FBI Director James Comey gave a no-holds-barred interview on Sunday night in which he called Donald Trump “morally unfit to be president” and a liar who possibly obstructed justice.

Comey, speaking to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, touched on many of the scandals that have plagued the Trump administration over the past 16 months, including the Russia dossier and the litany of sexual misconduct allegations leveled at the president.

“A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” Comey said.

Highlights from the interview include:

  • Trump may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. “I think it’s possible. I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”
  • The president “treats women like they’re pieces of meat.”
  • In regards to Trump asking Comey to drop his investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, there was “certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.”
  • Comey said Trump was “of above average intelligence who’s tracking conversations and knows what’s going on.”
  • “I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”
  • He said Trump “will stain everyone around him. And the question is, how much stain is too much stain…”
  • Trump was obsessed with disproving allegations that he paid prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a Moscow hotel room. Comey recalled the president asking “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” 

The interview comes just days before the release of his highly anticipated book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, which has already sold close to 200,000 copies

As the interview continued, Comey appeared to have no fondness for the man who fired him last May.

“The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him,” he told Stephanopoulos. “And the question is, how much stain is too much stain and how much stain eventually makes you unable to accomplish your goal of protecting the country and serving the country?”

The former FBI director said, however, he’d still be working for the government had he not been removed. “I was dreading it,” Comey said, noting he’d be “an unhappy F.B.I. director, but in a way proud of the organization and in my role in trying to protect it.”

“The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him,” Comey said in the interview which aired Sunday. (ABC News via Getty Images)
 
“The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him,” Comey said in the interview which aired Sunday. (ABC News via Getty Images)

Comey also recounted his conversation with Trump in which he said the president asked him to drop an investigation into then-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump has denied doing so and threatened to release “tapes” of the conversation to prove so.

Comey reiterated that he hoped such tapes existed and said the secretive nature of the meeting might imply Trump knew he was flouting convention. “If he didn’t know he was doing something improper, why did he kick out the attorney general and the vice president of the United States and the leaders of the intelligence community? I mean, why am I alone?”

“I’d be a crazy person to make it up,” he continued.

Stephanopoulos also asked if Comey believed the president obstructed justice, to which he replied: “Possibly.”

 “I mean, it’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice. It would depend and ― and I’m just a witness in this case, not the investigator or prosecutor ― it would depend upon other things that reflected on his intent.”

Among the more salacious topics during the interview focused on the infamous Steele dossier that was compiled by a former British spy and alleged that footage exists of Trump watching prostitutes urinating in a Moscow hotel suite. Comey informed Trump about the allegations in private before his inauguration several times, and he writes in his book that Trump was obsessed with disproving them.

On Sunday, he said he was unsure if the rumors were true, but said they left the president open to blackmail by the Russian government.

“I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the ― the ― current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

Stephanopoulos also asked if he thought Russia had “something” on the president.

“I think it’s possible,” he said. “I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”

The interview prompted immediate reactions from Republican leadership.

“James Comey’s publicity tour reaffirms that his true higher loyalty is to himself,” Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. “The only thing worse than Comey’s history of misconduct is his willingness to say anything to sell books. He has no credibility and President Trump was right to follow through on the bipartisan calls for him to be fired.”

As the reviews on Comey’s tell-all began to pour in, Trump immediately fired back on Twitter, calling the man an “untruthful slimeball” and intimating that he should be jailed for his actions at the helm of the FBI. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said Comey would “be forever known as a disgraced partisan hack that broke his sacred trust with the president of the United States.”

Trump unleashed another wave of fury on Twitter early Sunday, just hours before the ABC interview was set to air, accusing the former FBI chief of pushing “many lies” and predicting Comey would go down as the “WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”

Donald J. Trump

 

 

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty. I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His “memos” are self serving and FAKE!

 
 

Comey responded to the tweets with a message of his own, saying his book was “about ethical leadership & draws on stories from my life & lessons I learned from others.”

He continued: “3 presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint.”

“I hope folks read the whole thing and find it useful.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Posted in International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

migration

US repatriates 50 Haitian migrants

MIAMI, Apr 14, CMC – The United States Coast Guard says it has repatriated 50 Haitian migrants following an exercise at sea earlier this week in which a vessel was intercepted with 127 Haitians.

The Coast Guard said it located an overloaded 70-foot sail freighter last Saturday about 20 miles off the northeast coast of Cuba, and transferred 50 Haitian migrants.

migrationIt said the other 77 migrants refused lifejackets and that the vessel entered “Cuban Territorial Seas.”

The US Coast Guard said the Cuban Border Guard “took custody of the remaining 77 migrants for further disposition.

“This case is one of many inherently dangerous voyages interdicted this year in the unforgiving waters of the Caribbean Sea and Florida Straits,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Montes, 7th District duty enforcement officer.

“These ventures are ill-advised because they place the people aboard in grave risk of injury or death due to the unsafe loading of the vessel and lack of adequate lifesaving equipment. The Coast Guard and our partner agencies continually monitor the maritime border of the US to deter, detect and rescue migrants who embark on illegal and life-threatening voyages,” he added.

The US Coast Guard said about 1,334 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the US via the maritime environment since last October compared to 1,869 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2017.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Mara Thompson

Government legislator Thompson bows out of politics

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Apr. 12, CMC – The member of parliament for the constituency of St. John, Mara Thompson has formally announced that she will not be contesting the upcoming general election.

Thompson, the widow of David Thompson, the sixth Prime Minister of Barbados, said that after eight years, she has decided to retire from public life.

Mara Thompson
Mara Thompson

“I have taken a long hard look at myself and the needs of my family and I have decided to retire from public life,” said Thompson, who made the disclosure at a meeting of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), General Council late Wednesday.

Thompson also thanked her constituents for supporting her over the years.

“Just as I walked throughout the constituency and sought the support of the people of St. John when I wanted to become their MP, I am walking around in St. John, knocking on doors thanking the good people of St. John for their support for me over the years.  I intend to do so face to face.  They will see me.  I will continue to visit each home because I want to thank you.”

She added that following her husband’s death, her family was “cradled and buoyed by the people of St. John”.

“They swept me into Parliament, giving me the very distinct honour of becoming their Parliamentary representative   – I consider myself blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to serve my party and my St. John family.”

Thompson, who was the first female Deputy Speaker of the House,  has also endorsed  the party’s General Secretary, George Pilgrim, as her successor.

“I now publicly throw my support behind and endorse the long serving General Secretary Mr. George Pilgrim. George Pilgrim has been in and around St. John for many years now working on behalf of my late beloved predecessor David Thompson, working with Families First and working with me”

The constituency of St. John has been hailed as the DLP’s most secure seat since 1958.

St. John was  once held by the late Prime Minister Errol Barrow who died in office in 1987.

Former Prime Minister David Thompson, was later elected for the seat, which he held until his death – also  in office in October 2010.

His widow won the seat in a by-election in January 2011 and also ran successfully during the 2013 general election.

A date for a general election – that is constitutionally due by June this year, has not been set although Parliament was  automatically dissolved on March 6.

The government has 90 days since the dissolution, to name a date for the general election in keeping with the Representation of the People Act.

In the 2013 general election the DLP won 16 of the 30 seats, with the remainder going to the main opposition Barbados Labour Party.

Posted in International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Premier Alden McLaughlin

Premier to represent UK overseas territories at Commonwealth summit

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Apr. 12, CMC – Premier Alden McLaughlin is scheduled to depart the territory for the United Kingdom on Thursday, where he will represent the Overseas Terrotories at the upcoming Commonwealth Summit.

Premier Alden McLaughlin
Premier Alden McLaughlin

Issues  related to Brexit, the global economy and technology, will be addressed during the meeting with officials from the world’s 53 Commonwealth jurisdictions.

“While there, I will also take the opportunity to meet with United Kingdom Government officials to discuss issues and concerns that are common to the United Kingdom, the Overseas Territories and the Cayman Islands in particular,” said McLaughlin, who is president of the U.K. Overseas Territories Association.

The summit, which is scheduled to take place April 16-20.

“Attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government events and attending the Commonwealth Business Forum are part of ongoing relationship-building with the United Kingdom as it seeks to leave the European Union,” McLaughlin said.

“The Cayman Islands, as well as all of the U.K. Overseas Territories, see ourselves as a very important part of Global Britain, and I am honoured as the President of the Political Council of [the U.K. Overseas Territories Association] to be invited to take part in these events.”

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Newsletter

Archives